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Serbia panic over physical Eagles

Nigeria national football team players pose prior to the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying football match between Nigeria and Cameroon at Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, southern Nigeria, on September 1, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / PIUS UTOMI EKPEI Festus Abu Serbia coach Mladena Krstajic says  his team will have to raise their game to overcome a physical battle against Nigeria in their friendly match at The Hive Stadium  in London on Tuesday,  but believes they can play themselves to victory.

Serbia  lost  2-1 to Morocco   in their Russia 2018 World Cup  preparatory fixture  at  Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino in Turin  on Friday, and unhappy Eagles manager Krstajic has told his charges to go out there and beat Nigeria’s Super Eagles.

Nigeria put  Poland  to the sword   after Victor Moses converted a penalty in their World Cup warm-up clash at the Municipal Stadium  in Wroclaw on Friday.

Krstajic will  look to adopt a familiar 4-3-3 formation for today’s game with Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic or PAOK’s Aleksandar Prijovic leading  the scorer of the team’s  only goal against Morocco Dusan Tadic and Filip Kostic in the attack. Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr is likely to stick with the  4-4-1-1 formation which helped his team  to nullify the threat of Poland’s Bayern Munich talisman Robert Lewandowski, West Brom midfielder  Grzegorz Krychowiak and Borussia Dortmund right-back Łukasz Piszczek against Serbia in London.

Former Werder Bremen defender Krstajic, who is  desperate for a win to instil confidence in his team ahead of Russia 2018,  urged them to  go all out for a win. “Nigeria have a solid team with  many  of the players playing  for  European clubs,” HotSport.rs quoted the former Schalke 04  star as saying on Monday.

“I expect a good reaction from our players and I think with good concentration, we can achieve a good result. “I repeat, the most important  thing is the result, everything else is irrelevant.” He added, “Nigeria have  a lot of good players, we expect a very  tough  game, physically very demanding. So, we must prepare well and make everything look better than against Morocco.” Southampton’s Dusan Tadic also admits they face   physical   opponents in London. Nigeria have  a lot of good players, we expect a very physically game,”  Also  quoted the  forward as saying.

“They  have players in Leicester and  Chelsea, they are physically dominant, fast and strong.” Meanwhile,  Nigeria captain Mikel  Obi  has ruled himself out of playing in  the encounter  as he is yet to resolve his work permit issue in China.

The Tianjin Teda star could not travel to Poland for Friday’s fixture in Wroclaw due to the problem, and the former Chelsea midfielder has now confirmed that he will also miss today’s clash against Serbia.

The 2012 UEFA Champions League winner wrote  on his Instagram account on Monday, “Unfortunately due to circumstances beyond my control I will not be on the field for our game v Serbia tomorrow (Tuesday). I am sad, and frustrated, but giving my full support to the team for another WIN!.” Rohr has since invited Turkey-based midfielder Mikel Agu to replace the ageing player.

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